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26.07.2006

Over the last year Ukrainians have become three times as likely to complain to human rights groups about the actions of law enforcement officers

   

146 former employees of internal affairs agencies have been deprived of their liberty as a result of using torture or unlawful actions against those detained. Kharkiv human rights activists, together with the Kharkiv Institute of Social Research and the Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, have put together a textbook for future law enforcements officers.  This book “Human Rights and the Police” will be used by cadets of the relevant higher education institutes from 1 September this year.

The number of complaints against the actions of law enforcement officers reaching the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group have tripled, with one in ten alleging unlawful actions by police officers, these ranging from long periods of detention with no reason being given to the use of torture in order to extract the testimony sought. How should a police officer behave in order to not violate the rights of a detained person?  Now answers to all such questions can be found in the book “Human Rights and the Police”.

Ludmila Klochko, Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group Reception Office explains: “This textbook is not simply information from a course on human rights, but provides practical guidelines for future police officers on how to behave in order to observe their rights and those of people they have detained, as well as to avoid making mistakes in their work”.

The textbook has already received favourable reviews from the institutes where future police officers study. The Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs comments on its professional orientation..  Vitaly Seryohin, Head of the Department on Constitutional Law at the University comments:

“Special courses have been given before in these areas, but they have always been too general. Perhaps this textbook will help prospective police officers to not violate human rights however the problem remains very real.”

Whether this textbook will help officers in their future work will be seen in practice over the next few years. At the present time interest in the course book has been expressed by institutes from beyond the Kharkiv region as well.

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